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Italian appetizers never tasted so good! Big beef & sausage Bacon-Wrapped Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs drizzled with maple balsamic sauce are all you need to get the party started!
MEATBALLS and BACON!
Is there a greater marriage in the world of carnivores than beef + bacon? I really think not. Unless you add some ooey-gooey melty cheese to the combo, in which case you’d better be eating spinach salads and drinking water for the rest of your daily meals.
You know…because you aren’t going to want to stop eating these Bacon-Wrapped Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs drizzled with maple balsamic sauce.
Say it with me: Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs.
I just can’t imagine a plate of old-fashioned spaghetti without a healthy pile of marinara-soaked meatballs mounded on top.
It’s just part of who I am as an unabashed meat-eater. I’m a fruit and veggie superfan, am a sucker for whole grains…there’s really no food group I don’t welcome in my diet with open arms. But when it comes to ongoing love affairs, meat and I go way back.
I totally admire vegans. I’m just not sure I could ever pass up a juicy burger or a plate of chicken wings, no matter how much I truly love animals.
And these cheese stuffed meatballs. Holy hell.
You’ve all had the slow cooker appetizer version, right? Previously frozen meatballs, simmered in grape jelly tainted chili or BBQ sauce? The ones found at every Superbowl party and baby shower this side of the American continent.
Yep. These are absolutely nothing like them.
With a little time, a little work, a little patience, and a lot of appetite, these little guys can be in your belly before you can even say their long-winded name.
Try them this way first – with the super simple, tangy, and delicious maple balsamic sauce. The contrast of the balsamic and beef, paired with the symmetry of the maple and the bacon, makes for one incredible appetizer.
And then the oozy cheese, of course. Unnnffff.
This recipe makes a good amount of meatballs, so if you find yourself overloaded with them, they also make amazeballs meatball subs. Marinara, provolone, toasted hoagie roll…
Aaaand I’m drooling.
Or you could freeze the rest for next week’s spaghetti dinner. You may never top your pasta with normal meatballs again.
And you definitely won’t go back to the mushy, frozen ones. I gey-ruhn-tee it.
Bacon-Wrapped Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs with Maple Balsamic Sauce
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup bread crumbs
- 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese grated
- 1 tablespoon garlic minced
- 1 shallot diced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 pound ground Italian sausage
- 8 ounces package Mozzarella Pearls
- 3/4 pound bacon cut in half
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a broiler pan with nonstick cooking spray and set it near your work area.
In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, bread crumbs, Parmesan, garlic, shallot, salt, pepper, oregano, and basil. Add beef and sausage and, using your hands, mix ingredients until just combined without overworking meat.
Use a 2-Tablespoon scoop to portion meat, placing a Mozzarella ball inside and rolling into a ball. Repeat with each portion, setting them on the roasting pan.
Wrap each meatball with a half slice of bacon, and secure with a toothpick. Place each on the broiler pan and bake 30-40 minutes, depending on how crispy you like your bacon.
While meatballs are baking, prepare your sauce. Combine balsamic and maple syrup in a small saucepan set over low heat. Bring to a simmer and allow to cook 3-4 minutes until sauce is reduced. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Drizzle maple balsamic sauce over warm meatballs and serve immediately. Enjoy!
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Plus Buffalo Chicken Meatballs and More Amazing Meatball Recipes from Sunday Supper Movement